Friday, January 19, 2007

Going... Going... Gone?

The end for Kodachrome?
I was browsing the internet today when I read this post. I trust the poster, I've seen his work and I know that he is a heavy user of Kodachrome. So despite the 'no formal announcement' style of his post I believe it has some credence.
The announcement (even though at this point its more like a rumour) is only for Kodachrome 200, but the 64 will surely follow.
It will be a momentous blow to film users in general, and I feel a loss to Kodak who has produced the iconic emulsion since the 1930's.
The only two Kodak products I use are Tri-x and Kodachrome, once they go I can't think of a class leading consumer product in their range. I think Kodak is finding the transition to digital hard and one can only wonder about the future of the 'big yellow.'
Kodaks scaling down of film productions is in stark contrast to Fuji who have just re-introduced their 50 ISO Velvia slide film, so many photographers will probably feel Fuji is a better long term bet for their continued custom.
To put this into perspective, it has been pretty much expected by most of the photo communty with film sales falling, a neiche of a neiche can hardly be an important product to the bean counters at Kodak who have probably wanted to kill this product for years.
That said I still think there has never been a better time to shoot film, the rush to 'go digital' has seen second-hand camera prices plummet so there's still time to grab a little roll of history and have some fun.
I just ordered 10 rolls to put in my old battered Leica.

All Images and text ©Mark Antony Smith 2007